Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mr. Pig LIVE . . . with Little Elliot!

Are the cupcakes ready? Yes?... What?! We're on the air? OH!

Ahem, welcome to another episode of my hit talk show, "Mr. Pig LIVE!" Today's guest is the polka-dotted pachyderm everyone's been buzzing aboutthe star of Mike Curato's debut picture book Little Elliot, Big City.... 


Elliot leads a quiet life in the big city. But in spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.

But before we bring him out, let's roll the clip, please....

Welcome, Little Elliot!  
Hello, Mr. Pig. Happy to be here.

Let's start right in with the tough questions. Do you have a belly button?
I have a belly dot (a few of them). Does that count? 

Um, I think so. What is the best thing about being you?
I’m different in many ways. I haven’t met anyone like me, and I think that is special. I like being me!

We like you, too! What is the worst thing about being you? 
Sometimes it’s hard for me to get at things, like when they’re up high and I can’t reach. But I can be creative.

What is in your pocket right now?  
Oh, um, I don’t wear pants.

Oh my! Silly me. Let's move on. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I think just now when I realized that I’m naked! 

My apologies. What is your idea of the perfect day?
I would read a book and make a drawing. Then Mouse and I would take a walk in the park. Then we would go to the bakery, and the lady would notice me right away and say, “Hello, Elliot! What kind of cupcake would you like today?” And I would say “double chocolate, please!”... or maybe red velvet. And then Mouse and I would go home and share it.

Ah, yes. We have a lovely bakery in the Enchanted Woods. Do you know the Muffin Man? Lovely fellow. So, what is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

From Little Elliot, Big City. Illustration copyright 2014 by Mike Curato.

Tell us your favorite sound.
My favorite sound is the bell that rings when I open the bakery door: dingalingalingaling... It always makes me smile.

If a genie gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Lower counter tops.

Indeed. If you could dine with three characters from other books, who would they be? 

I want to have lunch with Ulysses from Flora & Ulysses. I have never met a flying squirrel before. I want to pet his tail. I would also invite Louise from Louise Loves Art. I think that she is a good artist. She can make a picture of all of us! I would also invite Henny from Henny. She is different from other chickens, just like I am different from other elephants. 

Maybe Ulysses can teach her how to fly. Or at least write a poem about flying, and Louise could illustrate it. We would have donuts because Ulysses has special dietary needs. I think this would be a good lunch.

From Little Elliot, Big City. Illustration copyright 2014 by Mike Curato.

Louise was a guest on my show. She's delightful! Next question. Do you have a pet peeve?
What is a peeve? I don’t have any pets. Would a peeve make a good pet? Is it smaller than me? I would take good care of it. I think I would name it Petey Peeve. 

Share one thing that most of our readers don’t know about you.
Many people think that I only like cupcakes, but I like other things too, like ice cream, and spaghetti, and eggs, and peanut butter, and Brussels sprouts, and pizza, and just regular cake. I know it is surprising that I like Brussels sprouts, but they are like polka dots for your plate.

You make Brussels sprouts sound fun. Speaking of fun, what are you reading right now?
I am reading The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I have never met a gorilla, but Ivan sounds like he’d be a good friend to a little elephant like me.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  
I wish that I could make music with my trunk, like it was a trumpet. It sort of sounds like one now, but it needs a tune up.
What was it like working with Mike Curato?
I like working with him because he always has cupcakes around. Usually, when I’m talking to him, he is eating one and just nodding a lot. He calls it “research.” I think Mister Curato is a very good researcher.

Thank you, Little Elliot! We have a sweet treat for you, too -- a snack made especially for YOU by Nina at Lunches with Love. Enjoy! 

{Scroll down to see the Little Elliot Literary Lunch.}


About the author
Mike Curato is an author and illustrator who loves small treasures. His debut picture book Little Elliot, Big City is first in a series of three. It has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. You can find him on any given day walking around the city eating a cupcake (or thinking about it).

For more info about Mike, visit his website.

About the book
by Mike Curato
Henry Holt & Co., August 2014
ISBN 978-0805098259

* "First in a series, Curato’s debut introduces a tiny polka-dotted elephant who lives in a Hopperesque 1940s Manhattan....[Curato] is a terrific emerging talent, with gorgeously rendered images that bring to mind the moodiness of Chris Van Allsburg and the sweetness of William Joyce."
Publishers Weekly, starred review 

* "Curato, a debut author and illustrator, tucks several gentle messages into one simple story that's perfect for the age group. It is, however, his almost cinematic artwork that's the real showstopper."
Booklist, starred review 

"[Curato] beautifully renders the images in rich earth tones that are soft and smooth, calling to mind The Sweetest Fig, by Chris Van Allsburg." The New York Times Book Review


  1. Fun interview! I have to be creative when it comes to things up high too. I love the idea of Petey Peeve- what would a "pet" peeve look like? The One and Only Ivan is a great story. Thanks for sharing! :) ~ Jess

  2. Thanks for commenting, Jess! Petey Peeve . . . hee hee. We smell a picture book there.

  3. Loved the interview. I hope to have some interviews lined up for T.A.A. in 2015.

    I reviewed Elliot's book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so I made this fan book trailer!

    I made it before I realized it had a book trailer already. It's really good but I think mine's nearly as good. I hope Elliot likes it if he sees it.

    Like Elliot, I love spaghetti and Brussels sprouts, too, the key is roasting them if your not a rabbit who'd like them raw, at least the rabbits I know... Of course, loving cupcakes are a given for me as well.

  4. Thanks for that fun interview, Mike is very entertaining!